Yesterday was Tuesday. Tuesdays are exciting! From 9:30 - 11:30 every Tuesday morning, the "Little Artist Open Studio" is on the schedule. I LOVE the Little Artist Studio! I get to watch toddlers and preschoolers work with paint, paper, glue, clay and occasionally, if we are all very lucky and brave ... GLITTER!
I sit in my hammock in the corner of the studio, and greet the little guests when they arrive. Sometimes, little friends come early JUST to visit with me before the art fun begins. (Especially Michael. He calls me "Meow" and I love to see him walk in the door!) No one has to worry about my sharp claws because Dawn makes sure my nail covers are in place before the guests arrive. (Yep ... I get a Pet-i-cure every month. I know, that sounds ridiculous ... but it helps me get around and keeps my sharp kitten claws safe around guests. Just don't tell Romeo, the big black tom cat that lives across the street!) Everyone is so gentle with me. The grown ups help the little guests learn how to touch me carefully, and they show them how to pet my ears and chin. They get to practice compassion and kindness and gentleness. Sometimes, I get treats. Sometimes, they throw a toy for me. Sometimes, I get a little paint on my fur. But that's ok! Because it's all non-toxic paint, and it washes right off!
After everyone has greeted me, they get busy with their art work. That's when my day gets really interesting. I watch these little folks learning while they are having a great time. They make new friends. They make interesting art. Sometimes, they make really cute fingerprints on the windows, or the chairs, or the floor! (THAT'S OK TOO!!)
I've learned a lot since I started working at the Village Arts Center in October. I've learned that little humans are hilarious. They are moody. They are curious. They are busy! I have learned that they like to dump paint out of jars, they get paint in their hair (or their dad's beard), they don't sit still for very long, and they can be pretty noisy. I have learned that Dawn LOVES to have the art studio filled with little people. That she doesn't mind the mess at all! That she only puts a little paint in the jars at a time so they CAN dump it out. That she only uses washable paint. That she doesn't expect anyone to sit still at all, and she even invites them to sit on the floor or stand up while they make their art. I have learned that she doesn't expect their artwork to look like a particular "thing", because she is a big fan of PROCESS ART instead of "product focused art activities". (Ask her about THAT some time .. but only if you have a while .. because she gets REALLY excited about the benefits of Process Art! Or, if you're short on time, just take home one of the printouts that she always has available for her guests. You can read all about it at home, while your little artist is taking a nap!)
If you have a little artist in your life, and you would like to make some happy memories and wonderful art together, you should come see us on Tuesday mornings. Drop in any time between 9:30 and 11:00. You don't need to stay the whole time, and you don't have to arrive right at 9:30. The fee is only $7 per child, and grown ups get to join in the fun for free! (But if you really want a great deal, purchase a Little Artist Studio pass that works for TEN visits and only costs $50!)
And that leads me to one more thing that I have learned. If you get to the VAC for the Little Artist Studio and the door is locked, KNOCK REALLY HARD!! Because sometimes, moms of toddlers know that their little artists are also little escape artists, and they might just lock the door for safety, and it get's a little bit noisy so we might not here you unless you knock on the door! But please knock. We'll let you in and we'll have plenty of fun for you to enjoy.